A few months ago the volume of the left speaker of my pair of low-cost audio monitors began slowly diminishing. Every day it seemed to lose a fraction of it's normal operating volume until the speaker became nearly completely silent. Since I bought these speakers in 2010, I noticed that the left speaker tends to run very hot. So, when the speaker began to die out, I assumed that the speakers were poorly designed and weren't built to withstand their own level of heat, and after a certain amount of time they broke. However, I wasn't sure about the cause. I thought it might have been that a solder joint might have weakened and broken or something like that. However, I thought back to an experience that I had before where my PC's video card made a loud crack and upon investigation, some of the capacitors on the PCB had broken open. This was my first experience with bad capacitors.
So, with that in mind, I thought to pop open my left monitor and check around to see if something was visibly wrong. And sure enough, I saw something that looked like two capacitors that had overheated (i think) and vented some of their fluids.
[I can't post my image due to the spam filter]
I'll admit that, while I'm interested in hardware and electrical engineering, my knowledge is much more limited than I would like it to be. I would love to try this repair/upgrade, but I'm worried about messing it up and winding up with a pair of non-working speakers (which, is only slightly worse than a pair of half-working speakers...).
Now, at this point, I've been able to identify a potential cause of the problem. But, I'm not sure what to do about it, or if I can even do anything by myself.
I know that there are places online where I can get replacement capacitors (in this case, it looks like the caps that were used were 4700uF/35v caps). But is this an easy D.I.Y. job for someone who is inexperienced with electronics and soldering, but is willing to learn?
Long story short: I think that I need to replace two capacitors inside my speaker system. The caps that were in there (4700uF/35c) broke too quickly for my liking, maybe due to overheating.
Is replacing these capacitors something that is relatively easy for an inexperienced person?
Do I need a special type of soldering iron or can this be done with a cheap hardware store one?
Also, would it be possible to buy replacement capacitors that are stronger/better/durable/heat resistant, instead of simply re-buying the same type?
Should I (or do I have to) replace the bad caps with new ones that are also 4700uF/35v? Or could I/should I replace them with something else? If i can repair and improve these at the same time, I'd like to. I'm not sure if that's possible though, as I don't really understand how capacitors work...
Finally, If I manage to remove the old capacitors, do I have to do something to remove the capacitor fluids that are all over my speaker's PCB? What can I do to clean that and is there anything I should know about that stuff?